(Originally posted at Upside & Motor)
On Monday, it was announced 25-year-old wing Bojan Bogdanovic has agreed the join the Brooklyn Nets next season on a three-year deal worth the taxpayer’s midlevel exception, according to ESPN New York’s Ohm Youngmusik. This comes three years after the Croatian sharpshooter was selected 31st overall in the 2011 draft. There are conflicting accounts out of Turkey on whether or not he has an NBA out on his contract with Fenerbahçe this summer, but the expectation seems to be the deal will go through, as the Turkish powerhouse already went on to sign Suns’ draftee Bogdan Bogdanovic as a replacement.
Bogdanovic is a gunner. Jump-shots accounted for almost 62% of his 278 attempts in 735 Euroleague minutes, and three-pointers totaled 41.5% of his 344 shots in 920 Turkish league minutes. He is an excellent catch-and-shooter with average speed on his release, but very consistent mechanics. His left hand always points up and his right elbow is always under the ball, which is particularly impressive because Bogdanovic does not need to bring the ball to hip level to load his shot.
He is a capable pull-up jump-shooter, but not as good as off the catch. He does have deep range, though, thanks to the really high arc on his shot. However, his shot selection has always been a head-scratcher. He hit just 29.5% of his 94 three-point attempts in the Euroleague, but that was an anomaly as he hit 38.5% in the Turkish league and from 40.5% and 41.1% in Euroleague the previous two seasons.
Bogdanovic is a very limited player on the ball, with iffy ball handling skills. He struggles when forced to change directions, and doesn’t make a quick decisions when the defense successfully bottles him in the in-between area. It’s almost impossible to imagine him as an effective pick-and-roll player in the NBA. Bogdanovic had just as many turnovers as assists in the Euroleague and a 1.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the Turkish league. Part of the problem is he does not consistently dribble the ball low in traffic, which should be a must for him at 6’7. He proved himself capable of getting to the rim in straight line drives, capable of dribbling on either side. When he got to the rim, he finished his 106 attempts at a 64.5% clip, which is solid but not particularly encouraging regarding his transition to the NBA, where the rim protectors are better.
He is a capable passer, in part because his height permits him to see over smaller defenders, but ranked below average in assist-rate among shooting guards in both leagues. Bogdanovic was a good transition player in the European game, displaying above average athletic ability sprinting up the court, but does not play above the rim often. This suggests he will have to focus on running to the corner or the opposite wing to spot-up from the beyond the arc on fast-breaks. Listed at 216 pounds on Fenerbahçe’s official website, Bogdanovic has shown the ability to use his 6’7 frame to post up smaller players, as he did quite a bit with Jeremy Lamb when the Thunder visited Istanbul in the preseason. Despite his size, he rarely contributes on the offensive glass.
Bogdanovic had average-at-best lateral quickness and speed for the European game, and projects as a guy who will need to be hidden in the NBA. He struggled badly to chase guys like Kostas Vasileadis off screens and keep types such as Manukar Markoishvili in front of him in isolation, and those two aren’t quite Kyle Korver and DeMar DeRozan. He contributed very little on the glass and posted average steal-rates in both leagues. Fenerbahçe allowed on average 102.8 points per 100 possessions in the Turkish league but 108.7 with Bogdanovic in the lineup, per RealGM. Its defensive rating was also 1.4 points per 100 possessions better with him on the bench in the Euroleague, according to in-the-game.org.
Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara